I was heartened by the common sense statements by Kenneth Roy on the matter of majorities. If a limited company wishes to change its articles of association, i.e. its constitution, it requires a special resolution approved by 75% of members voting.
To me, it almost beggars belief that we are about to make very radical changes to the UK constitution on a declared majority of just under 52% which, as Kenneth ably demonstrates, was actually 37.4% of the electorate. And that represents the 'will of the people'? It seems that so many of our politicians are wilfully blind on this matter. Even if it thought that a 75% majority is too high for a referendum, surely a two-thirds majority would be more sensible.
If there is to be yet another independence referendum in Scotland, I hope it will require at least a two-thirds majority. The worst possible outcome would be a Yes vote on a tiny majority. By no stretch of the imagination could that be described as the 'will of the Scottish people', to quote Nicola Sturgeon's favourite mantra.
At the risk of appearing sycophantic, I propose Kenneth Roy be awarded the inaugural Brexit Whopper Watch Award (colloquially, the Gotcha). Given the acceleration of time as we are experiencing it post-referendum (p.r.) – and as the competition show clear signs of rigour mortis – I propose that the award be presented as a matter of some urgency.
There was a lot of talk in the BBC Scotland EU debate about a Scottish immigration policy to attract the skills we need. No one highlighted the fact that there are 160,000 unemployed people and 70k vacancies in Scotland.
Many immigrants are here because our own people are either not skilled, educated, motivated or mobile enough (due to the cost and shortage of housing). Or are they indeed undercut by cheap immigrants because wage regulations are not observed by many employers or policed by the authorities?
None of these issues are the responsibility of the EU and, while they are very complex and ingrained, if they were addressed welfare budgets would be lower, tax receipts higher and the extra growth would create a demand for immigrants that no-one could complain about because we genuinely had a shortage of British workers. It seems all politicians realise how intractable a problem it is and prefer to paper over the cracks with immigration.
Around 50,000 UK graduates are working in jobs which don't require any qualifications, around 5,000 of them in Scotland. Surely we can plan our education system better than this?
I fully agree with most of what Kenneth Roy says about the current Conservative government and the prospective leadership candidates, but the description of some of them as 'devout Christian’ sticks a bit in my craw, as their actions and statements seem to exemplify a very twisted version of Christianity, based on selfishness, refusal to forgive or act graciously, and the perpetuation of inequalities.
Rev David Coleman
Kenneth Roy’s article on God as a minister without portfolio was interesting reading. It highlights a problem when people use 'religion' to support their own political stance. Traditionally all sermons have three points. There are three points which should not be ignored in considering the matter:
1. All too often people have used 'religion' as an excuse for their own political stance.
2. It should be remembered that everyone has a worldview, within which framework they make decisions, whether it is that they believe in God, or that they believe in nothing. There can be an equal danger in secularists trying to impose their point of view by seeking to confine anything religious to the private arena, and religious people trying to impose their point of view on others. However the authentic Christian message is not an imposition, but a Jesus who invites people to consider him. The most recent user-friendly statement of the Christian faith authorised by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland is called 'God’s Invitation'.
3. But far from the Christian faith being just 'pie in the sky when we die', irrelevant to the hurts of individuals and society, the authentic Christian faith is that those who are the most genuinely heavenly-minded are of the most earthly use, because they take the values of heaven and with personal humility seek to reflect that in their daily living: the integrity and justice, the sensitive appreciation of and practical caring for individuals of all kinds and backgrounds which we see in Jesus.
Sitting round a cabinet table, aware that we are all accountable, not just to a committee of inquiry but to God, is something to be welcomed in an age of media-twisting and spinning!
Thanks to all at the Scottish Review: a voice of reason.